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Action Camera-Maker GoPro Announces It Will Go Public

Action camera-maker GoPro has announced it plans to raise $100 million through an initial public offering of its stock.
Posted at 12:37 PM, May 20, 2014

If you're a fan of action camera startup GoPro, then you'll definitely want to watch this.

"GoPro is going public. That's the maker of those cameras that attach to everything, made popular by extreme athletes who stuck them to snowboards, helmets, handlebars, anything." ​(Via CNN)

CNN reports the company announced Monday it plans to raise $100 million through an initial public offering of its stock. 

The camera-maker also said it will list on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol GPRO, and it revealed its finances for the very first time. (Via GoPro)

Now, GoPro's IPO announcement wasn't exactly a big surprise. The camera startup made headlines back in February when it announced it was planning on offering stock to the public at some point. (Via Engadget)

But because it filed its IPO confidentially, GoPro hadn't opened its books for all to see — until now.

According to the filing, GoPro's sales hit a whopping $986 million in 2013, which is four times its total sales for 2012. The documents say nearly half of those sales came from outside the U.S.

As The Verge points out, the company also laid out a dual class plan for its common stock, which gives voting control to GoPro founder Nicholas Woodman and other execs. "That means the group that founded and directed the company early on will hold the reins as it evolves, something that's been a key factor in the long term growth and evolution at companies like Google and Facebook."

But there's still a pretty big question mark for investors at this point: Can GoPro survive in a world dominated by smartphones that get bigger and better cameras with each update?

Woodman told TechCrunch last year he thinks GoPro has an edge in utility, and he's not afraid of the big bad smartphones or even Google Glass.

"The smartphone is killing the traditional camera industry, which is opening up retail shelf space for GoPro and opening up consumer dollars for GoPro." (Via TechCrunch)

But still, the camera-maker itself admitted in Monday's filing, "It is possible that, in the future, the manufacturers of these devices, such as Apple Inc. and Samsung, may design them for use in a range of conditions, including challenging physical environments, or develop products similar to ours."

GoPro says it will use the money gained through the IPO to help pay off its $111 million dollar loan and to invest in other businesses. The New York Times reports the company had 718 people on staff as of March.